According to the California Dept. of Alcohol Beverage Control, nearly 200,000 people were arrested for DUI in 2005 in California alone. Those people convicted of driving under the influence are often required to attend alcohol abuse classes as part of their sentence. Such courses educate offenders about the risks of driving while intoxicated and provide tools to help them make better choices about drinking and driving. To become an instructor for a DUI program, you must have training and typically receive certification.
Each state has different requirements, so check with the state in which you wish to work to learn about certification. For instance, in Utah, the accredited training programs are open only to employees of the Department of Human Services or agencies licensed by them in substance abuse treatment.
A degree is always a good choice and may be required in some states, such as Florida. Having a bachelor degree or higher may reduce the amount of training required in order to achieve certification to work as an instructor, as well.
Relevant work experience is required by most states for DUI instructors. Work at least two years as a teacher or counselor before applying. If you can’t get such experience, check to see what programs your state has available. For instance, Nevada allows some trainees to teach in alcohol abuse programs under the supervision of a licensed instructor, and this experience counts toward the two-year requirement.
Your education, your experience, and the state you are applying to all affect the kind of training required to work as an instructor in a DUI alcohol abuse program. Many states send applicants through the Prevention Research Institute (PRI) instructor course, a four-day training.
States that demand certification for alcohol abuse program instructors require them to pass an exam after training. They are typically computer-based tests available in a number of locations across the state and cost from $75-150.
When you take the certification exam, you will probably have to fill out paperwork to submit to a background check, as well.
Once you become an instructor, most states insist you follow their set curriculum, often that used by the PRI. You must also agree to abide by their ethical requirements; getting caught for a DUI, for instance, would negate your certification. All-in-all, working as an instructor in a DUI alcohol awareness program can be a rewarding job.
“California DUI Crackdown.” Abc.ca.gov.
“DUI Instructors.” Nevada Dept. of Motor Vehicles. Dmvnv.gov.
Prevention Institute Research Training. Primeforlife.org.